Last week it was a hovering server that irritated a reader. This week, it’s another service issue.
Kay Avery writes that she and her husband enjoy going out to a nice restaurant each weekend where they like to order a good bottle of wine. That said, she is put off by wine-pushing servers.
“When we are trying to (decide) what wine to order, the waiter butts in several times wanting to make suggestions.
“The conversation usually starts with him asking if we need help. We say, no, thank you. We are just starting to look at the wine list, and he comes over and tells us they tasted four wines the other night and could he make a suggestion. We say, no, thanks, we have narrowed it down. Again, as my husband and I have narrowed it down to three he hears us talking about. (The server) butts in again to tell us what wine he thought was best at the tasting.
“At that point, we almost feel like leaving but we say, no, we know wines, and we will let him know. My husband and I are a good 30 years older than the waiter, have been to wine tastings and the wine country several times. We are by no means wine snobs. When we go to Peruvian restaurants or anywhere we don’t know the wines, we ask for help. But I am really tired of these young waiters thinking they have the better opinion of what wine we should drink. Managers of restaurants really need to tell the wait staff to ask if customers need help once. If (the customers) say no, leave them alone. They are capable of making a decision.”
Sam Armistead: Captain Tom’s Boat, 9651 FM 1960 in Humble, 281-890-8334
“Save your money and eat the best fried seafood in Houston. I have only gone to the one on 1960 just west of Perry. It is always crowded. (It has) no tables. Customers sit on stools and watch the employees shuck fresh oysters. Two catfish split and fried are $9.95 with fries. It can’t be beat. Two stuffed crabs for the same price. Better than any crab cake I’ve tried. Not a place for kids, but a really a fun and interesting place.”
Geri Sweeney: Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella, 713-861-8666
“We celebrated my sister’s birthday at Rainbow Lodge last night. We were pleased with everything from the complimentary valet parking to our pleasant surprise at half-price wine by the glass on Sunday nights. The wine was reasonably priced at full price, so it truly was a savings. Our food was delicious and creatively prepared, as in sea bass with lobster ravioli in a fantastic citrus sauce containing chorizo of all things! My brother-in-law’s steak was undercooked; they apologized for this and quickly brought him a new steak cooked to the appropriate temperature. My sister received a complimentary dessert, which we all shared. The service was impeccable. Excellent job, Rainbow Lodge!”
Jean Wong Wilson: Hawthorn, 3200 Kirby, 713-523-3600
“My new favorite restaurant is Hawthorn. The service and food is first-class plus some. Everything on the menu is very fresh, and many items, such as the squid ink pasta, are handmade. Hawthorn has the best crab cake I’ve experienced since I first discovered crab cakes in Seattle; theirs is perfection.”